By Connor Rogers, Staff Writer
By now many Jets fans have their eyes set on drafting an elite college talent such as Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o, Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones, or maybe even West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith. Those high profile names can ignite any fan base on draft day, but their is a high probability each of those players will be top ten picks.
The New York Jets have six games left against quite weak opponents. Lets hypothetically say the Jets finish 7-9 and their first round draft pick falls in no mans land: the middle of the draft. Each year this part of the first round is often witness to elite talent fading away as question mark players begin to top the draft board. Let’s take a look at four players the Jets might be looking at in this situation:
1) Bjoern Werner – Defensive End – Florida State
I’ve watched a lot of tape on Werner and two strong qualities stick out on each play: He has an elite jump as soon as the ball is snapped and his motor is never ending. If the Jets move to a majority 4-3 front next year (which they’ve played a lot of this year) this guy is an excellent pick. He weighs between 265-275 and often uses his speed on the edge to close the pocket. He’s strong enough where he keeps his pad level to the inside and is rarely thrown out of plays (I’m staring at you Aaron Maybin).
NFL Comparison: Jason Babin
2) Justin Hunter- Wide Receiver – Tennessee
Recently I heard one Jet fan describe Hunter as “Stephen Hill 2.0″, in a very negative tone. While Hill is a project and a topic for another day, game tape on Hunter reveals much different characteristics. They are both built very similar and possess speed, but Hunter is a focal point of Tennessee’s offense, unlike Stephen Hill at Georgia Tech. He works the middle of the field and is very difficult to bring down after the catch. The most impressive, under the radar feature of his game is his ability to come back to the ball while using his long arms to reel in off target passes. Hunter has game changing ability, along with number one receiver potential.
NFL Comparison: Hakeem Nicks
3) Tyler Eifert - Tight End – Notre Dame
First off I’d like to clarify I’m a die hard Notre Dame fan and have seen a ton of in game action from Eifert. He has the most receiving yards for a tight end in Notre Dame history, but lets look beyond the stats. Eifert has the size (6-5, 250 lbs.) and athleticism to dominate linebackers in man coverage. Throughout games I’ve consistently seen him even take on cornerbacks, beating them for jump balls when his speed is not an advantage. Eifert is a lethal threat cause he adjusts to his competition. He’s too fast for linebackers and too big for corners. In the Jets case he makes a lot of sense as he holds his own in pass protection and run blocking. If Dustin Keller walks, Eifert should be given a serious consideration.
NFL Comparison: N/A
4) Chance Warmack – Offensive Guard – Albama
Warmack is possibly the best player in the entire draft and only real draft geeks know his name. He’s a colossal sized offensive guard who moves quite well. Most impressively he blew up the LSU defensive line, elite competition that has two players guaranteed to be selected in the first round. Warmack is the type of talent that I see being a “lock” to succeed. He has the size to play in the NFL, the athleticism to be a star, and the experience to be a pro bowler from day one. He’s dominated at the best program in the country against the best competition. The only thing holding him out of being selected in the top ten is his position.
NFL Comparison: Carl Nicks